ISSUE 2   May  17, 2007


Use of 2,4-D with glyphosate applied as a burndown before emergence of wheat in no-till has long been considered safe and legal. A few weeks ago, someone tried to find wording on 2,4-D labels that allow such a use. He reported that no 2,4-D label has this application listed. Also, since the old Landmaster BW was registered for pre seed burn down uses, this contributed to the idea that 2,4-D alone was also registered for such a use.

The following are comments from the Dow 2,4-D regulatory manager.

"The 2,4-D preplant use patterns were not withdraw during the current 2,4-D re-registration. In fact, 2,4-D was never approved for use as a burn down in cereals. The old and still the current use that comes close is the 2,4-D use in fallow.

The label generally states to wait 30 days before planting another crop. The "General Instructions" section on the Landmaster label lists instructions relating to preplant use. This includes 2,4-D. It does not spell out the preplant time:

The 2,4-D authorized use (Reference: "2,4-D Master Label), on Fallowland and Crop Stubble (idle land, postharvest to crops or between crops) spells out a minimum 29 days for labeled crops (other than those registered for preplant burn down) and 30 or more days for other unlabelled 2,4-D crops, as follows below:


Labeled Crops: Within 29 days following an application of this product, plant only those crops named as use sites on this or other registered 2,4-D labels. Follow more specific limitations, if any, provided in the directions for individual crops. Labeled crops may be at risk for crop injury or loss when planted soon after application, especially in the first 14 days. Degradation factors described below should be considered in weighing this risk.

Other Crops: All other crops may be planted 30 or more days following an application without concern for illegal residues in the planted crop.

However, under certain conditions, there may be a risk of injury to susceptible crops. Degradation factors described below should be considered in weighing this risk. Under normal conditions, any crop may be planted without risk of injury if at least 90 days of soil temperatures above freezing have elapsed since application."

Richard Zollinger
NDSU Extension Weed Specialist



There has been concern that no Section 18 for Spartan on flax has been approved by EPA. The following is a response from Jim Gray, North Dakota Dept of Ag on the matter.

I have received many calls from growers and pesticide dealers inquiring whether we will have a Section 18 exemption in 2007 to allow use of Spartan (sulfentrazone) on flax to manage kochia. As many of you know, we have had a Section 18 exemption for this use for the past five years.

I am notifying the public that we will not have a Section 18 exemption for this use in 2007 and to explain why.

Section 18 exemptions are meant for emergency pest situations.  To prove that a situation is an emergency, we need to provide an argument with supporting data that the following conditions exist: A) the situation is urgent, B) the situation is non-routine, and C) alternative management tools are either unavailable or ineffective.  In my opinion, we lack compelling data to prove that these conditions are met.

EPA has recently passed regulations establishing a new tiered system for demonstrating significant economic loss (SEL) for Section 18 requests.  This is our most common argument to prove that a situation is "urgent".  While we have used anecdotal and expert opinion to make these arguments in the past, the SEL arguments now depend on objective data that measures yield impact from the emergency pest situation, as well as data that directly compares the efficacy of the requested chemical compared to the best registered alternative.

Dr. Brian Jenks (Weed Scientist, Northcentral R&E Center, Minot) and I have traded several drafts of a Section 18 request document for use of Spartan (sulfentrazone) on flax. Simply put, we lack the necessary data to make the argument that this situation meets the necessary criteria under the new tiered SEL system.

In addition, it is extremely difficult for us to prove the kochia is a non-routine pest problem, especially since we have had a Section 18 exemption for this use for the past five years.  EPA is becoming more and more critical of multi-year Section 18 requests, especially for weed problems.

Contrary to popular belief, the ND Department of Agriculture does not have the authority to simply grant a Section 18 exemption to make a given pesticide use legal.  Section 18 exemptions are granted by the US EPA, and they depend on having adequate data to prove that the situation meets the three "emergency" criteria discussed above.  Because we lack the necessary data to support a Section 18 exemption, an exemption request was not submitted for this use in 2007.  In addition, since we have had this exemption for the past five years, a crisis Section 18 exemption is not an option.

I urge flax growers to plan their season with the knowledge that they will not have Spartan available under a Section 18 exemption.  Users are reminded to use registered pesticides, and to follow all directions, restrictions, and precautions on pesticide labeling.

If flax growers will need this exemption in 2008, I urge you to work with NDSU Extension to see if studies can be conducted to generate the necessary data to address the existing shortfalls. 

Jim Gray
Pesticide, Feed, and Fertilizer Team Leader
North Dakota Department of Agriculture

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